20
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
300 tasting notes

This is one of those teas I’ve always avoided. When I picked it out going by scent, though, I think the hot mess that is Mamma Mia from David’s Tea had infiltrated this bag a little, in spite of being double-bagged itself.

As I now smell the tea, I get far less wacky fruit punch. It’s fairly nondescript, but it’s clear it’s a citrusy black tea, which is one of my least favourite combinations. It makes me think of being carsick. The tea puts me in our old Mercedes, scorching blackhot inside from being parked in the sun for hours. The citrus gives me the lemon-scented wetwipes my mother cleaned me off with after I’d been sick. It makes me sad and vomity and grouchy and achingly sentimental all at once, and to this day, I really can’t deal with lemon-scented things.

Steeped, the tea itself isn’t so bad, but it’s too flat and too subtle and too citrusy and has a pretty boring tea base and is just really not for me.

(ETA: Ugh, as this cools, it starts to smell like an old seatbelt.)

Thanks for sharing, whoever put this in!

[Sample from the EU Travelling Box, autumn 2013.]

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

blah blah i say to this one…BLAH

Fjellrev

Oh dear, that’s terrible. I’ve only ever smelled it in the store and thought it smelled like candy cola bottles, but had a hunch it wouldn’t work out.

Anna

They can rename it K-eww-blah-i Khan, maybe. And I’m really going to stop with these tea puns. At some point. Maybe.

Anna

Ughh, those bottles, though. Like flat Coke that’s stood around for ages and gotten chewy.

I really don’t think this is a bad tea in general, though – it’s just me and my black citrusy hangups.

Sil

it’s close enough to an earl grey to not be a delicious tea for me

Anna

Teas that make me want my mommy are a no-go.

gmathis

You are absolutely poetic! Wet-wipe flashbacks—-love it!

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Comments

Sil

blah blah i say to this one…BLAH

Fjellrev

Oh dear, that’s terrible. I’ve only ever smelled it in the store and thought it smelled like candy cola bottles, but had a hunch it wouldn’t work out.

Anna

They can rename it K-eww-blah-i Khan, maybe. And I’m really going to stop with these tea puns. At some point. Maybe.

Anna

Ughh, those bottles, though. Like flat Coke that’s stood around for ages and gotten chewy.

I really don’t think this is a bad tea in general, though – it’s just me and my black citrusy hangups.

Sil

it’s close enough to an earl grey to not be a delicious tea for me

Anna

Teas that make me want my mommy are a no-go.

gmathis

You are absolutely poetic! Wet-wipe flashbacks—-love it!

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Bio

I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.

2013

Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.

Ever.

  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

100-90
My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

89-80
Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

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